Coronavirus fears Maesteg social distancing of Zakynthos tourists

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Wales Minister of Health Vaughan Gething said people returning from Zakynthos posed a public health risk


Locals are being contacted over claims that vacationers – who suspected symptoms of coronavirus – returned from Zakynthos and mingled with others.

People who came out in Maesteg, County Bridgend over the weekend were urged to be alert for symptoms.

A local counselor said someone had returned from Zakynthos and had contact before testing positive.

Bridgend’s counsel said they liaise with “establishments where these people are alleged to be absent”.

Authority chief Huw David said, “We need to be very clear with people – they risk other people’s health and other people’s lives, if they are asymptomatic and come out and mix in. the local community.

“They could endanger their family and friends. We urge them to pay attention and think of other members of the community. ”

Travelers arriving in Wales from the Greek island have since been asked to self-isolate after a string of cases.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething said the tracing could not reach everyone because of people providing false information.

After criticism, some passengers returning to Cardiff from Zante were not told for a week that they had to self-isolate.

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Council officials contact Maesteg locations to voice concerns


A spokesperson for Bridgend’s council said: ‘We have been made aware of stories on social media circulating individuals in the Maesteg area who have returned from Zante who are potentially showing symptoms of Covid-19.

“Anyone who may believe they have come into contact with people who have returned from Zakynthos should be on the lookout for signs of the symptoms of Covid-19. ”

Public Health Wales said its inquiries into the coronavirus cases in Wales “have indicated that a lack of social distancing, especially by a 20-30-year-old minority, has caused the virus to spread to other groups of people ”.

“We would make a direct appeal to young people to remember that even if they felt they would not be severely affected by Covid-19 if they were to test positive, should they pass it on to members of their older or more vulnerable family, friends or colleagues it could be extremely serious, even fatal, ”said a statement.

What are people saying about Maesteg?

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Beautician Kelly John has closed her shop while awaiting the results of a covid test


Maesteg East councilor Keith Edwards said he was told a vacationer had returned “but before he waited for the outcome he socialized in and around town and then was told he was positive ”.

“Some pubs have had businesses cleaned up – staff are being tested,” he added.

Kelly John, who owns a beauty salon in the city, decided to shut down temporarily after one of her clients was with a man who tested positive after returning from Zante.

She said: “Yesterday I had my afternoon client here and she got a message while having her nails done basically saying that a boy she was with on the weekend tested positive. coronavirus but it landed from Zante on Thursday. I had to shut down instantly then.

“Only a month ago I opened so I’m back to square one.

“I just had my coronavirus test done and they told me I had to wait 72 hours for the results so I will have to stay closed until then. ”

Maesteg Harelquins canceled Tuesday’s session over concerns that people who tested positive may have mingled with players over the weekend.

And Maesteg Celtic rugby club tweeted that they were hiring a cleaning company because of the “current situation” and following advice from the council.

Ogmore MP Chris Elmore and Senedd member Huw Irranca-Davies released a joint statement in which they were pleased that the council was “contacting various local establishments where it is alleged that individuals visited over the weekend and also provide clear advice and support ”.

What is happening now?

Travel company Tui has canceled all vacations at the Greek island resort of Laganas, due to customers’ failure to adhere to coronavirus safety measures.

Travelers arriving in Wales from Zakynthos are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days following six clusters of cases, or 30 infections, linked to flights from there.

They will also be offered two Covid-19 tests – one in 48 hours and another in eight days.

Passenger testing at Cardiff Airport is currently under consideration.

What do vacationers say?

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Victoria Webb

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Victoria Webb said she feared she only found out about the outbreak in a media report


Some passengers on a Zakynthos-Cardiff flight last week complained that they were not asked to self-isolate immediately.

Lee Evans said “someone has to be held responsible” after an email telling him and his family to self-isolate came almost a week after the robbery.

Another passenger, Victoria Webb, said she only became aware of the outbreak when her mother sent her a link to the BBC News story on her way home to London from Cardiff.

Mr Gething said the contact tracing system reaches over 90% of people.

“The reason we’re never going to have 100% contact tracing across the entire service is that some people don’t want to be contacted and have deliberately given misleading information to the service,” he said. .

“The contact tracing service relies on accountability and providing honest information from people.

“If they don’t, then these people risk their health and that of those around them and their community.

“There’s a backstop and anyone we don’t talk to on the phone within a few days is written. But people have to do the right thing if we are to avoid another big wave like we saw in the spring. ”

Welsh Conservative member of the Senedd, Andrew RT Davies, called on the Health Minister to ‘pull himself together’ and introduce testing for passengers arriving at Cardiff airport.

Airport chief executive Spencer Birns asked the UK government for clarification on the testing and backed calls for a “robust testing system … to help restore confidence to air passengers.”

The health minister said he had not ruled out further travel restrictions in Greece, with the Scottish government imposing quarantine restrictions on people arriving from the country from Thursday.

Mr Gething said he was awaiting a report from the UK government’s Joint Biosafety Center on Greece later on Wednesday and had requested a meeting with other UK ministers to discuss possible quarantine rules.

He added: “Anyone going overseas has to be willing to take a risk, and the rules could change while they’re overseas or while they’re in the air. “

Wales provides a ‘model’

However, the Welsh government’s approach of targeting specific outbreak areas, rather than blanket bans on entire countries, has been welcomed.

Travel expert Simon Calder said the policy could set a benchmark for the rest of the UK.

“The Welsh Minister of Health has done exactly what the travel industry has been asking for and that is to have targeted measures targeting specific hot spots rather than entire countries being delisted overnight,” he said. -he declares.

“It’s extremely confusing for travelers because we have the bizarre situation where everything is fragmented between the four countries of origin.

“The UK government has tried to keep things together, but Wales’ decision last night took everyone by surprise and could become the model for what we see in the future. ”

Lucy Griffiths, from Cardiff, had just arrived in Zakynthos with her children when the announcement was made.

“We discovered that [the rules had changed] when we landed and turned on our phones and found that everyone had texted us, ”she said.

“Covid is everywhere, so I could take it out at the supermarket at home. I don’t see the difference in another country.

“Unfortunately, I was fired during the lockdown so I don’t really have a job to come home to, but my kids are going to miss more from school than we originally expected.

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Ellis and Jennifer Roberts vacationing on Zakynthos


Ellis and Jennifer Roberts, from Anglesey, are due to return to Liverpool on Thursday but said they felt safe on vacation.

“Laganas is the region that concerns them the most, that’s where all the young people go. But we are staying in a small village, Alykes, and it may be safer than on Anglesey, ”said Ms Roberts.

“We don’t regret going on vacation. We canceled our stay at Skiathos last month and found things to be better so I decided to come. I’ll have to ask the boss if I can work from home for another two weeks. “

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